Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: dslr video

Video on DSLR – does it work

Like many people I was excited by the prospect of having HD video capability on my DSLR, when I first got my hands on my 5D Mk2 I was trying out all it’s lovely video options. As expected the quality was really great but then I started to notice the drawbacks. The first thing that jumped out was that the sound recording was poor, noise from the body of the camera, noise from wind, in fact any noise was a problem, too loud, too harsh, not directional enough etc. So I bought a very nice twin mic set up with hot shoe mounting from Rode. In my testing I realised this made significant improvements over the built in mic. Then I realised that with the addition of mics on the top of the camera I needed to put the thing on a tripod and this limited what I could do with the camera in video mode. I also realised that focusing the image using the lens manually, focus pulling in fact, on moving subjects was almost impossible, either with the camera on a tripod or hand held, my arms just were not long enough even considering my simian nature. I have barely used the video capture options on my camera a few product vids where subject movement to describe the product’s function and a few talking heads have been the total of meaningful use.

I did have another go but soon relaised that I needed more kit and started to investigate the options and there are many. The obvious was to buy one of the rigs that gives shoulder support, geared focus and zoom controls and maybe a clip on viewfinder. The cost was more than the cost of the camera, so really a non starter. The whole thing made me realise that when a piece of equipment is made for a job it is so much better than something that is adapted.

This article from Pixq perfectly sums up my experience and considerations on the matter. The advantages of dslr video are far out-weighed by the advantage. I have no doubt people will disagree with me, but then maybe they have arms much longer and the ability to focus on things much closer than I do. More gibbon like in fact.

Here is that article

Here is an example of the rigs you can buy to make your video dslr work

“There is a SLR camera in there, somewhere, but if you have to add several lengths worth of metal tubing to your camera to adapt it to be useful as a video camera, it is probably not a good sign.”  Pixq

gibbon, very long arms!

Video DSLR Basics: Shutter Speed

This short but very useful post is a must for anyone thinking of shooting video on their DSLR

Here is an excerpt:

“To understand shutter speed for SLR video, it helps to understand how the shutter works on a traditional motion-picture film camera. In a film camera, the shutter spins at a constant rate. Half the time, it is open, exposing the film, and half the time it is closed, pulling the film into place. The long-standing industry standard is for this to happen 24 times per second…….So, if you want to set your SLR to correspond to cinematic standards, set it to shoot at 24 fps (“24p”), and set your shutter speed as close to 1/48 second as you can. Usually, that means 1/50.” Thanks to Alex Fox for this insight

Canon EOS 5D Mk2